Dear Senators, Representatives, and Governor of the Sate of Oregon,
I am a resident of Coos County, I was raised in Coos County, and educated in Oregon.
Luckily, I spent a professional career in a variety of locations in other states and countries. Had I not moved away to fulfill my career, we would not be living in the style which we are. There is no opportunity here, and the area has had little opportunity for decades. The natural harbor has gone undeveloped for industry since timber products and coal were abandoned long ago. This is one of the poorest areas of the United States.
Here comes a company, Jordan Cove, applying to build a world class facility in Coos Bay, spending $10 billion dollars in Oregon to do so. How can we, the people of Southern Oregon, say no to this opportunity? An opportunity to open up this region, this harbor, to future growth and financial advancement that will allow young people to stay here without living at a poverty level income. The construction phase alone will open up this area to investment and development by other corporations whereby high paying and professional jobs will, for the first time, come to this part of Oregon.
I see the Coos Bay Rail link struggle to find business. This has been a misled and failed effort to bring business to Coos County. Now the Coos Bay Harbor wants to spend public money to dredge open the harbor to encourage business to Coos Bay. This is not the way to spend public money. The way to encourage private development is to show them the potential and remove legal barriers to projects.
This is what you, as our representatives, are faced with in this application, and it is what I appeal to you to allow. Not just allow, but to encourage, pointing out the advantages to our area and the country. YES, the country. May I point out that the mineral owners, people like us, in places like Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado, and Oklahoma have a right to sell their minerals, oil and natural gas, and to transport this just like Oregonians can ship their timber over open roads, only a pipeline is necessary to do so. Pipelines are a very safe form of infrastructure as we have millions of miles of these in the USA. An argument against a pipeline on these grounds is a non-starter.
For every $10 million dollars spent in Coos County, a new service company will be established. Some will come to serve the immediate needs of Jordan Cove and the Harbor, but many will stay to become established businesses. Coos Bay will then be “on the map" respect to more business development and infrastructure development and the seeds will be sown for a robust future to grow on. There is more to this harbor than loading ships at downtown docks.
As a petroleum geologist I sold projects to corporations based on the potential of the deal and the science behind the project. I did not sell the deal on what was there. Fortunately, I did not have restrictive Oregon laws and attitudes to conflict with operations. If you make a way for opportunity, then the future will be brighter. I appeal to you who represent our State and County to make a way for opportunity in Coos County.
Ainslie E. Krans, Retired
Petroleum & Engineering Geologist U of O.